Background and objective: Cardiac surgery with cardiopulmonary bypass triggers an inflammatory response involving pro-inflammatory cytokines such as tumour necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), interleukin 6 (IL-6) and interleukin 8 (IL-8). We investigated whether different anaesthetic techniques alter the pro-inflammatory cytokine response to cardiac surgery.
Methods: Thirty patients scheduled for elective coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) surgery were randomized into three groups of 10 patients. They received either volatile inhalation induction and maintenance (Group 1) or total intravenous anaesthesia with propofol and a minimal dose sufentanil (Group 2) or a moderate dose midazolam-sufentanil (Group 3). The effect of the different anaesthetic techniques on plasma levels of TNF-α, IL-6 and IL-8 were examined during and after anaesthesia.
Results: Concentrations of TNF-α, and IL-8 were comparable in the three groups throughout all measurements. Before the start of cardiopulmonary bypass, IL-6 was significantly higher in Group 1 than in Group 2 (P = 0.009) or Group 3 (P = 0.030), but there were no differences between groups after cardiopulmonary bypass or postoperatively. In the three groups there was a positive correlation between aortic clamping time and serum concentrations of IL-6 (r = 0.54) and IL-8 (r = 0.62). Length of stay in intensive care was correlated with high levels of TNF-α (r = 0.78).
Conclusions: Albeit there is difference between the volatile induction and maintenance of the anaesthesia method and the total intravenous anaesthesia technique on the pro-inflammatory cytokine response to surgical stimulation before starting of cardiopulmonary bypass, neither technique can modify the pro-inflammatory cytokine response to ischaemia-reperfusion or extracorporeal circulation.